In 1969, Calgary Inn food and beverage manager Walter Chell was tasked with creating a signature drink for the inn’s new Italian restaurant. Little did he know he was also creating Canada’s future national cocktail (seriously, Parliament made it official in 2009). Behold the Caesar.
Chell was inspired by the restaurant’s spaghetti vongole and spent months perfecting a recipe that reflected the pasta’s savoury clam and tomato flavours. He mashed clams to get fresh clam nectar and mixed it with tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, spices (his secret ingredient was a dash of oregano) and a celery salt rim. He named it after Julius Caesar, the mighty Roman conqueror.
The same year, Duffy Mott Company patented canned clam-tomato juice (a.k.a. Clamato) and the Caesar conquered Canada.
Make your own with the recipe below or try it at Sofia restaurant in Yorkville.